TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – A C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft from the 22nd Airlift Squadron flew a Pacific channel mission March 4 - 5, 2017, from Travis Air Force Base, California delivering cargo to Yokota Air Base, Japan
“The Yokota mission is our proof of the C-5M concept,” said Lt. Col. Cory Damon, 22nd AS commander. “The range and capabilities we can provide to the Pacific theater is vast. We are the only one that can take all this cargo to Yokota without stopping or refueling.”
“We’re able to get up to higher altitudes quicker,” said Damon. “We have the potential to save over 30 hours per mission by flying direct. The advances in technology not only help cut fuel and improve velocity, but allows AMC to support a broader area. It’s not just the C-5M and the upgrades, it’s a culture change in how we employ the mobility enterprise.”
The C-5A B, and C models underwent the M model upgrade in 2014. The new ‘M’ model upgrade increase fuel efficiency and stay in the air longer, extending its global mobility range and capabilities.
“We save gas because we’re flying the ‘M’; we save time because we don’t need to do it in two days, we can do it in one; we save people because we don’t need to send three people, we can send two pilots and fewer load masters, we save enroute structure because we don’t have to get gas at Hickam,” said Lt. Col. Richard Linton, 22nd AS operations officer.
Because of the C-5 upgrades and efficiency of the 22nd AS, mobility Air Forces wings globally don’t require the extra maintainers to service the C-5M during the Pacific channel missions. This allows the maintenance allocations to be spread to other bases where they are needed.
The 22nd AS is routinely flying missions to Yakota AB, around three times per month.
“We are humbled by the fact that we do this every day. It’s normal for us,” said Damon. “It’s just another mission to most of us, but when we step back and look at what we enabled. The C-5 is a strategic asset, projecting strategic power because no one else has a C-5 and the capabilities that it provides.”
The 22nd AS has a rich history in the Pacific.
The 22nd AS was originally the 22nd Transport Squadron, activated in April 1942 at Essendon Airdrome near Melbourne, Australia. In July 1942, it was redesignated the 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron and was a prime participant in the South Pacific.
“The mission in the Pacific has a lot of historical significance, as well with our heritage since we started in the Pacific in World War II,” said Damon. “Anything we do in the Pacific goes back to that heritage.”
The 22nd flew many important missions form Tachikawa, Japan, flying the C-124 Globemaster before being redesignated the 22nd Military Airlift Squadron and was deactivated in 1958. In 1972, the 22nd was reactivated at Travis AFB as part of the 60th Military Airlift Wing flying the C-5A Galaxy until falling under Air Mobility Command at Travis in 1992.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect current capabilities of the C-5M.